Store owners in Nottingham have been praised for their diligence following a proactive operation to tackle the illegal sale of knives and fireworks.
Seven businesses in the Sherwood, Bulwell, Bulwell Forest and Bestwood areas of Nottingham were visited by a member of Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated knife crime team along with colleagues from the city north neighbourhood policing team.
The operation was also supported by Nottingham City Council Trading Standards.
It is illegal in the UK to sell a knife or similar bladed article to a person under the age of 18.
It is also a criminal offence to sell category F2 and F3 fireworks to anyone under the age of 18 and for anyone aged under 18 to possess these types of fireworks in a public place.
Category F2 and F3 fireworks cover most types of outdoor fireworks, including rockets, which have a specified safety distances for spectators.
It is also illegal for retailers to sell category F1 fireworks to anyone under the age of 16.
These are very small fireworks which require a minimal safety distance. Examples include some types of indoor fireworks.
Inspector Oliver Vale, from the knife crime team, was among those who took part in Monday’s operation (25 October) which also involved the force’s police cadets.
It comes after a man was sentenced this week for setting off a firework which caused a huge blaze at Nottingham’s Cattle Market site.
Insp Vale said: “I am pleased all the stores we tested did not sell knives or fireworks to the underage test purchasers who were aged 15. They were challenged for ID and refused sale without it.
“This successful operation was just part of our ongoing proactive work all year round to make sure our young people can’t get hold of knives which could then be used to cause harm.
“Retailers play a crucial role in helping us to keep people safe and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure compliance with the law.
“I hope the action we’re taking and the outcome of this operation, in the run up to Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night, reassures people of our determination to crack down on knife and firework-related crime and disorder.
“I would like to praise the stores for their diligence. These encouraging results show that retailers do have robust processes in place and are carrying out stringent checks for those trying to purchase knives and fireworks.
“By working in partnership it also sends a strong message that we will not tolerate people carrying knives on our streets or those seeking to cause disruption and antisocial behaviour in our communities.
“I would also like to thank our police cadets who supported the operation and gave their time as those carrying out the test purchasing.”
Mick Sharman, area manager for response from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If you are selling fireworks this year, it is important to know your responsibilities and act accordingly.
‘If you buy fireworks, we ask that you use them well away from people, houses and flammable materials. Always check that you have enough space to light them safely, and follow the instructions carefully.
‘We are working closely with our partners to keep you safe.’